No need to hurry in the Bahamas. We left at 9 AM Thursday, traveled north a mile from the harbor and took Indian Rock Passage north east for 5 miles. From there it was 47 miles, with a slight bend around the north of Mangrove Cay in the middle, to our anchorage on the west side of Great Sale Cay. The depth averaged 8 feet, the water very clear and flat. We saw the sandy bottom with plant growth, occasional corals and a few fish all along the way.
Hard to believe how shallow and flat the bottom is everywhere here. Look at the Bahamas area in Google maps, satellite view and notice how different it is from the surrounding ocean.
I was fish spotting at the front of the bow much of the time. Here we run the autopilot in “N”, navigation, mode most of the time. Just set a waypoint on the screen and tell the boat to go there. It shows the ETA and sets off an alarm when you get there. Someone still needs to be on watch for other boats (there’s alarms for that too, but I only trust this stuff so much), but we travel a lot of miles before we see one.
We arrived in “West Harbor” of Great Sale Cay, protected from all but a south wind, at 4 PM. On a day like today we did not need any protection. We could have anchored in 7 – 9 feet of water anywhere along our route and been fine weather and wave wise, but we picked a respectable distance from the two boats already there and settled in. Seven more boats joined us as the evening wore on.
Normally the weather is not so fine, the people not so vibrant, the smiles not so prominent and the water not so clear as in the tourist brochures. Today was the Bahamas of the tourist brochures. It doesn’t get better than this, and we both felt reasonably vibrant.